You have literally grown up in drag racing. What is your earliest memory of your dad and drag racing?

Courtney Force: My earliest memory of being at the track is from when I still had a pacifier and diapers because I have seen the pictures.  I was always a track kid.  I remember hanging out with the crew guys.  They were all like big brothers to me.  Guys like Austin Coil, Bernie Fedderly, “Guido” (Dean Antonelli), those guys have been in my life for a very long time. I just love being out here and the smell of nitro.

Another memory I have is when my dad missed my seventh birthday (and) decided I could go to the next race with him as kind of a make-up gift.  It was the race in Virginia that I think he ended up winning.  It was a great birthday and a super celebration.  He had all the crew guys come out and sing happy birthday to me.  It is one of the best memories I have as a kid.

How old were you when you knew that you wanted to be a drag racer when you grew up?

CF: It was probably when I was around five.  I know that because by my seventh birthday, I already knew I wanted to race cars for a living.  I just loved seeing dad in his race car and I thought that was so cool.  Ever since kindergarten, he would bring his Funny Car and trailer to my school and all the kids in my class could sit in the car and see what it was like. I knew I wanted to be just like my dad.

When you were old enough to first drive a car, what was it and did you ever sneak out with it to burn rubber or street race it?

CF: I didn’t sneak out.  I was a well-behaved kid.  I knew I would get in trouble especially for doing something like street racing since dad was a race car driver.  I knew better than to street race.  My first car was my mom’s Ford Excursion.  She and dad thought I would be safer in a big car.  Getting my driver’s license and learning to drive in that Excursion definitely helped because every car after that was easier to handle.  I got a lot of experience because it was a challenge.